The 2017 North American Bible Quiz Tournament, July 21 – 25 in Indianapolis, Indiana was the culmination of fifty years of Bible quizzing within the United Pentecostal Church, International. A total of 121 teams (sixty intermediate and sixty-one experienced) from the United States and Canada contributed to making this historic event absolutely epic!
Congratulations to Calvary Apostolic Church of Concord, California, pastored by Rev. Timothy Grayson, our champions in the experienced division; and also to Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Bloomington, Illinois, pastored by Rev. Brad Nave, who emerged as champs in the intermediate division. Full details regarding all award-winning teams and individuals may be found below.
The theme for 2017 has been Rooted: Our History, Our Destiny. We memorized and studied as many as 520 select verses from the Book of Acts that not only ground us in our Apostolic legacy but propel us to be no less the world-changers in our day that the early apostles were in theirs.
We had notable preaching and teaching at our Bible quiz extravaganzas over the course of our year-long fiftieth anniversary celebration. Among others, we were blessed by the ministry of our General Youth Division executives, President Michael Ensey, Secretary Josh Carson, and Director of Promotion Justin Reinking, who support the quiz ministry not only in word, but also in deed.
Our devotions were capped, however, by former quiz director Pastor Marvin Walker, who challenged and inspired quizzers to fulfill their call as Special Forces in the kingdom. Our outgoing director, Rev. Nathan Reever, also called us to always value unity, regardless of church or district, age or ethnicity, as one large North American Bible quiz team.
Before quizzing concluded the following day, we took time to honor and hear from our quizzers who were in their final year of eligibility. This special Prayer & Share service has become the hallmark of each quiz season. Tears and laughs, testimonies and impartations all combine making this a unique opportunity to commission young men and women, many who have been preparing since grade school to impact a world in need of what they’ve been given. The following is a transcript of the charge they received.
“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).
In the weeks leading up to this point, the apostles’ lives had been a roller coaster of emotions and circumstances. They now came to Jesus and wanted to know the details of how everything was going to pan out. They wanted the dots to connect and form a picture they could understand. They had questions—“How much longer? At this time? Finally?”—just as no doubt you already do or soon will as you face this next season of your life.
However, Jesus replied:
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” (Acts 1:7).
There are just some things about which you will ask that are not for you to know. I wish I could give you the answers, but God in His providence will withhold them. It’s not about what you don’t know and it’s not about the answers you don’t have. It’s not about your expectations, your hopes and dreams, your plans and intentions. You may think one thing or another about college or a career or a relationship and truly desire to know more. However, it is not about the knowledge you lack, because despite what you don’t know or won’t ever know, Jesus continued:
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…” (Acts 1:8).
Jesus’ reply was that knowledge as you think is not power. Knowing God intimately—the almighty Creator of all the universe coming to dwell within you—THAT is power.
After Jesus had been taken up, the apostles remained transfixed, just standing there until an angel came:
“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?” (Acts 1:11).
The apostles’ failure to grasp Jesus’ timeline, lack of answers, and now an overwhelming sense of loss left them as mere onlookers, paralyzed to act to the point that an angel had to come and shake them out of it.
One of the earliest revelations God gave me in my ministry, not much older than eighteen or nineteen, was one of the few things I remembered from high school physics: Power = Work / Time. God’s power through us is defined as God’s work in God’s time. There is no power if there is no work over time. And when time exists no more, His power in us will be incalculable.
I charge you last-year quizzers, do not to let your frustration with God’s timing; nor too few answers to your many questions; nor a sense of loss now that your quiz career is over paralyze you into becoming mere onlookers. Because working with what you have been given—God’s vested power—is so much more important than what you don’t have.
You don’t need to know the end from the beginning to trust the One who does. You don’t have to have all the details to do what you already know to do. You have received the Holy Ghost, God has trusted you with His power to be witnesses, to be world-changers! He expects no less.
Special thanks to Bible quiz promotions director, Ryan O’Neil and his team, who pieced together the wonderful fifty-year archive on display throughout NABQT, NAYC, and our General Conference. Their hard work provided a retrospective that allowed us all to appreciate the tremendous efforts invested by so many into this ministry over the years so we can enjoy what it is today.
The record-setting Bible quiz banquet was the capstone on an incredible fiftieth anniversary year! Pastor Norman Paslay, II. regaled us with his reflections spanning forty years of Bible quizzing and crushed any rumors of his retirement from coaching. Among all the team and individual awards presented, the inaugural Nathan Reever Championship Trophy (“The Reever”) and Marvin Walker Championship Trophy (“The Walker”) were awarded to our intermediate and experienced division champs respectively. And, “The Man” himself, our outgoing Bible Quiz Director, Nathan Reever was rightfully and respectfully honored. As he picked up the mantle of this ministry seventeen years ago, may a double-portion of the same spirit be upon us who now receive it from him, for we are inexorably tied not only to our history, but ultimately to our destiny!
Photos and Results